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Students raising voice on key issues positive sign: Patkar

 GUWAHATI, Feb 19 - Renowned social activist and Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar today said that in view of the new phase of social circumstances that the country is facing today, students and youth power have come to the forefront and are raising their voice over crucial issues, which is a positive sign for society.

 Patkar, who along with Ramon Magsaysay Award winning activist Sandeep Pandey, today addressed the students at Sudmersen Hall of Cotton University, saying that it was not enough to build a strong perception and be aware about our surroundings; it was equally important to move a step ahead and take whatever action we can to bring in a positive change.

Both the leaders took part in an interactive session organised by Cotton University Study Circle and Debating and Symposium Section of CUSU. The topic of discussion was ‘Our perception and duties towards the current social awareness.’

“Today, someone told me that Cotton University is the JNU of Assam. Now, whatever it means to anybody, I believe that students across the country are becoming more aware and more vocal about their rights and duties,” she added.

Referring to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, she added that cross section of the people have come out in protest against the Act. Similarly, other legislations are also being changed, which include major changes in labour laws.

“The 144 laws that have evolved from a prolonged struggle of the working class people are going to be abolished. Laws like Factories Act, Contract Labour Act, etc., that protect the interest of workers, labourers and specially those belonging to the unorganised sectors, are getting merged in four codes,” she added.

Addressing the gathering, Sandeep Pandey said that the current movement against the CAA has become a people’s movement. “Earlier, it was believed that the people getting citizenship through this Act will have to provide proofs about their status. But, now it has been learnt that just by admitting that they are religious minorities from a neighbouring country, they would be eligible to get citizenship,” he added.

Both the leaders also laid stress on the fact that opposing the violation of Indian Constitution was well within the rights of Indian citizens and it has been included in the list of Fundamental Duties of citizens incorporated in the Constitution.

The interactive session also covered topics like NRC, NPR, capital punishment, women’s rights, attack on students, etc.

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